I procrastinate a lot. All the time. I’m probably procrastinating right now.
Maybe you don’t, but it’s pretty common. A famous author once said “I always have to be working on 2 books. That way I work on one while running away from the other”
One pattern I fall into a lot is to sit down at my computer, look at the endless TODO list on my desk, and say 👇
Oof, that’s a lot of stuff. I better take a quick break to ready myself.
Then I open imgur.com, click on an image or two, and suddenly it’s 30 minutes later. Quick break my ass.
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You procrastinate for 3 reasons:
- Because you don’t know what to do next
- Because you’re afraid of what to do next
- Because you’re tired
You can solve 1 by breaking daunting tasks down into smaller tasks, prioritizing them, and generally investing some time in thinking about what you have to do before you get started. Procrastination helps.
Solving 2 is hard because it takes introspection and honesty. You can solve it if you identify what’s up and fix that. Procrastination helps because it gives you time to think.
You can solve 3 by not being tired.
You think the internet will make you not tired, but it won’t. It makes you more tired, taxes your brain, pulls you in a million interesting directions, wastes your time, and leaves you feeling more tired than you were when you started.
You probably know this. I know this. But it’s still right there like a crack pipe promising a better life and never delivering.
So this weekend, I sat down and made a thing. A Chrome Extension.
It replaces the Imgur homepage with tips on how to take a healthy break. 10 pushups, some stretches, gazing through the window to rest your eyes. Talking to a coworker.
All things that actually give you a break, leave your mind more rested, and make you feel better.
No more getting distracted by imgur for me. ^_^
That’s the best part of being an engineer. When you have a problem, you also have the tools to solve it. 👌
Before you ask, yes, you could just block imgur altogether. But then you can’t use it to upload and host images, or when a friend sends you a direct link to a picture.
In other news…
This week, I finally learned how to make proper arc transitions with React and D3. It’s all about building a custom arc tween so you’re transitioning angles, not path definitions.
I also got into some debates about engineering careers and how to have a good one. You have to Work ON your career, not just IN your career
This one’s probably going to turn into a series 👆
Did I send you a link to my experience with Vue last week? I can’t remember.
A few cool things
Found a bunch of cool things on the internets this week. You know, while procrastinating.
- This cool D3-based tool to learn graph theory
- This wholesome tweet about a wholesome HackerNews. May it come to be, would be nice.
- This article about America’s romance with working hard and working long. And why it’s dumb.
- Ryan Florence’s article on Render props and React.createContext.
Looks like everyone is writing about the new APIs coming to React. Maybe I should too 🤔
But I totally had to make hideimgur.com first.
Hit reply if you find it useful!